Hurting America

For Your Consideration

editorial@sierrastar.comFebruary 11, 2014 

If we've heard it once, we've heard it a thousand times and that's not just a figure of speech. As far back as early 2011, Rep. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Rep. Darrel "bulldog" Issa initiated the Fast and Furious investigation into ATF gunwalking. In late 2011, hearings and investigations were led again by Issa on assertions that the IRS targeted conservative groups.

In Oct. 2012, House Oversight Committee chairman Issa began hearings on Benghazi. It's been on average one-to-two years that we have endured this so when I say we've heard about this more than a thousand times, it is an understatement.

After months of House Committee hearings and investigations, the Inspector General concluded accusations on these issues have no merit. Despite this, select media and even other columnists in the Sierra Star refer to these scandals as though nothing has been resolved, the latest of which was reiterated in Bill Atwood's Feb. 6 "My Bad" column. America was founded on the principle of innocent till proven guilty.

Issa and his minions were operating on the premise of guilty till proven innocent. Since exculpatory evidence has rendered an innocence verdict, Issa and the little Issas have resorted to Tea Party style jurisprudence – guilty — evidence be damned.

So what is the evidence? Given Issa and the little Issas disregard for evidence, indulging in it here would be an exercise in futility. However, as an eternal optimist, I will provide some highlights and references for those who may not be aware that these scandals are phony and have been settled.

"Investigation finds no evidence AG Eric Holder knew of 'Fast and Furious' gun-running sting" — http://goo.gl/LjbYMK.

"Fox News ignores latest evidence that progressive groups were targeted by IRS" — http://goo.gl/nXHYgB.

"… John Shafer who described himself as "a conservative Republican," told congressional investigators he flagged the first application for tax-exempt status from a Tea Party-aligned group …" "Asked if the lower-level agent sought to elevate the case to Washington because he disagreed with Tea Party politics, Shafer said that was not the case." — http://goo.gl/PpluYc.

Belaboring settled issues is damaging to America and it's standing on the world stage. Being a political animal, I understand why it is being done. With our political system, unfortunately every year is a silly season. Every two years we have midterm elections and two years later we have presidential elections. This is attack politics pure and simple.

Serving justice is an afterthought; damaging your political opponent is the objective. But the victim is not just political opponents. The victim is more importantly America and its people.

If our politicians and the punditry can't act like adults, we the people must elevate the conversation to the issues rather than wallow in characterizations like doom to liberty and freedom is imminent; the Constitution is being trampled on; tyranny will soon reign; the president by executive order will single-handedly transform this country to a dictatorship; socialism will wash over America like the dark of night; we will no longer be able to celebrate Christmas and be relegated to Happy Festivus; Christians and Conservatives are being persecuted.

This buffoonery is playing out on TV, radio, opinion pages, discussion boards and from columnists in this paper. I understand its popularity. It is an easy and lazy way of feeling politically engaged.

Don't confuse being political with gutter talk. An opinion of real value requires work — an effort to know the issues, doing the research, factoring in all the evidence and critically analyzing it — not simply adopting someone else's characterization and repeating it.

Tabloid politics distracts us from addressing real issues. Historically, that strategy has been used to stop progress: integration, social security, Medicare, women's suffrage, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Roe v. Wade, gender equality, marriage equality, hate crime laws, Lilly Ledbetter act etc.

Today it distracts us from consequential issues: marijuana legalization, immigration, minimum wage, jobs, restoring the middle class, environmental protection, income equality, Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), fracking, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), XL pipeline, net neutrality, equal pay for women and more.

If you are unfamiliar with some of what is listed, that in itself is evidence how these distractions are hurting Americans.

These are the issues that really threaten your freedom, liberty, the Constitution, your existence, way of life, security, and jobs — not the BS being dished out. Want to know what I'm talking about? Read how the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, if passed, will substantially hurt the majority of Americans at: citizen.org/tppz.

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